Is it legal according to Swiss law to request a full copy of an ID when applying to view residential housing?

Swiss agencies often organize viewings for candidate tenants of residential homes. In order to attend such a viewing, it is often required to fill out a form and to upload a full copy (front and back) of a valid ID. Note that this is asked prior to signing any contract. Due to the high demand, tens of persons/fanilies are invited and thus required to upload a full copy of the ID, but eventually only one person/family can actually sign the housing contract.

When uploading a covered ID, such as the Dutch example shown below (but without the black bars), they are often refused. Interestingly, the text on this cover seems to suggest that it should be accepted: "Only governments, financial institutions, employers, notaries and Holland Casino may copy your entire identity document. There are no other entities that are allowed to". Does this not apply in Switzerland? Is it in fact legal and status quo to request for entire copies of the ID for the purpose of applying for or viewing residential housing in Switzerland?

anti identity theft cover passport

  • I would suggest looking at various know your customer laws around the world and the need to know who you are doing business with.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jan 5 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


Why do you think Dutch law is relevant in Switzerland?

There may very well be a law in the Netherlands that prohibits people other than the listed entities from copying your ID in the Netherlands but that law is of no effect outside, say, in Switzerland. Swiss organisations must follow Swiss law, not Dutch law.

There may be a Swiss housing law that requires IDs to be copied. More likely, there isn’t a law preventing it and it’s just normal practice.

  • Poorly argued answer written in an unnecessarily aggressive tone. The identity cover is in English, not Dutch, and there are many regulations shared between the EU and Switzerland, so yes, it would surprise me if the law on this subject is significantly different, and I could not find information about it, hence my question. Besides, I write "to my understanding" and "Am I wrong?". Lastly, I wrote that I have specifically been warned for fraudulent activities. Yes, identity theft is a thing. You essentially suggest that I am too assumptive, but I think your answer is too assumptive instead. Commented Jan 3 at 23:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .